A New England IPA is a style of American IPA that features an intense, tropical fruit centric, hop aroma and flavour. It’s heavily dry hopped to the point of being hazy and has a fuller body, smoother flavour, and less perceived bitterness than typical IPAs.
These characteristics are achieved using a combination of brewing techniques including the use of particular strains of yeast, the timing of when hops are added and adjusting the chemistry of the water.
Image: Sin Pecado Craft Beers
Browse our range of New England IPAs here
Origins of New England IPA
The New England IPA is a relatively new style originally brewed out of Vermont, a small state in the New England region of north-eastern United States. It has made a big splash in the United States; with some claiming it’s paving the way for the future of new brews – cloudy, smooth, and fruity with an artfully refined bitterness.
It showed up on the US beer consumer radar around 2011, but it was not until after the 2015 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style guidelines were released that the style really exploded and became one of the most sought-after styles.
The style supposedly began 14 years ago with an IPA called the Heady Topper, brewed by The Alchemist brewery. Brewer, John Kimmich, experimented with an IPA recipe, deciding not to filter nor pasteurise the beer – both common methods used to extend a beer’s shelf.
This resulted in a thicker IPA with microscopic compounds, enzymes, and cultures that added both flavour and aroma. Customers started to recognise it for its distinct taste, aesthetic appearance which was unusually murky, almost like orange juice; hence it’s nickname, the hazy IPA.
As a result of an extremely limited supply of Heady Topper whilst demand began increasing, other brewers started making their own hazy IPAs. The style remained modestly popular as an East Coast specialty until it suddenly exploded into the beer scene, taking the West Coast by storm in what is known as the ‘haze craze’.
The haziness in NEIPAS is caused by a variety of techniques that brewers say are primarily aimed at enhancing aromas and creating a smooth, creamy mouthfeel while also reducing the harsh bitterness associated with more conventional IPAs.
This includes using certain yeast strains that leave fruity esters in the beer as well as suspended matter which help produce the haze.
The addition of hops late in the boil is also regularly practiced. Hops are added to a beer roughly one-hour prior to the completion of the boiling process which amplifies aroma while extracting less of the hops’ alpha acids which provides a beers bitterness.
Brewers also avoid filtering NEIPAS, which helps to avoid flavour loss; it’s just pure hop juice.
IPA vs NEIPA: What makes it different from other IPAs?
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale. It is a beefed up version of a pale ale, made using more hops with a higher alcohol content. IPAs were first created in England and its name was derived from its popularity among British troops stationed in India in the 19 th century when the subcontinent was still a British colony.
IPAs come in range of styles such as English IPA, West Coast IPA, East Coast IPA, Oat IPA, Milkshake IPA, Belgian IPA, Sour IPA, Fruited IPA and Brett IPA.
New England IPA is just one of the latest additions to the IPA style, although a rather unique one at that. NEIPAs differs to other IPAs as it’s unfiltered and has extremely low bitterness in comparison to its close relatives. They are often dry-hopped and tend to be fermented to have midrange carbonation. They look akin to orange juice, smell and taste like fresh fruit salad.
Features of a New England IPA:
The most noticeable thing would be its trademark opaque haze appearance generated by specific new world origin oats and wheat, suspended hop oils and occasionally the contentious addition of wild flowers. Its head is dense, creamy and cloud like hovering over an orange or golden yellow body with carbonation bubbles persistently rising to the top.
Although many are amazed by the appearance, most people’s ‘wow moment’ is when they put it to their nose and are greeted with a full-bodied wall of rich aromatics. The aromatics vary from brew to brew but are primarily fruity or tropical in character.
NEIPAs are rather limited malt-wise with hop notes more dominant. Additionally, many NEIPAs used particular yeast strains that are high in ester production. The malt profile is rather neutral leaving space for the hops aroma to resinate.
The flavour is hop heavy and focused on the fruitier spectrum of hops. It is accentuated by yeast esters that produce sweet undernotes. The hop varieties used are commonly associated with ripe or overripe tropical fruits such as passionfruit, guava, papaya, mango and pineapple; though some brews can have a citrusy character.
However, where it differs from other styles of IPA is that the bitter flavours are often secondary, buried in the mix. While other IPA sub-styles pride themselves on their big bitter notes, the NEIPA proudly boasts a more moderate bitterness that floats through one’s palate cleanly and concisely (approximately 40 to 60 IBU).
Due to the inclusion of flaked malts and water chemistry NEIPAs comes across as soft and silky with a chewy full body. It finishes refreshingly with a lingering fruity sweetness that keeps the mouth quenched. The presence of an alcoholic glow is not uncommon. Carbonation levels vary but they are usually on the moderate to high side.
So there you have it. A run-down of one of the most popular new styles that are seen on the Australian craft beer seen. If you are looking for a best in class Australian NEIPA then check out 3 Ravens Juicy, Hop Nation Jedi Juice and Sauce Bubble & Squeak.
This style of beer can be somewhat volatile and doesn’t deal well with heat. Our recommendation is to keep cold and drink fresh!
Thirsty Yet? Browse our range of New England IPAs here
Pact Beer Co 100 Acres IPA. Cool snap by: @nsew_nic Beer description: Drawing equal cues from both the English and American IPA traditions, the 100 Acres IPA exudes a beautiful bouquet of clean pine and floral aromas with a firm bitterness that excites without overwhelming the palate. All these hops are supported by a firm biscuity, [...]
For the Deftones fans amongst us comes Belching Beaver/Deftones Phantom Bride IPA. Quite possibly the highest rated band collaboration beer on buff.ly/2j79Def (rated 97 out of 100). Named after their recent single, the beer is brewed and bottled by Belching Beaver Brewery. It is a hoppy West Coast style India Pale Ale loaded up with Mosaic, Amarillo, [...]
Just put a sample of the @furyandson IPA to the test. It’s a nice IPA; hoppy, bitter and most importantly very tasty! #craftbeer #ipa
Fox Hat Metric IPA - this is one tasty little number! Grain and hops weighed in kilos, beer sold in litres. Beer simplified, no complex fluid drachms, ounces or gallons here or pounds and stones for that matter. No Fahrenheit in site. Just simple uncomplicated metric goodness, malt, HOPS, alcohol, HOPS. To the eye - Looks [...]
Neat photo by @hops_vines - Moa Festive IPA - we’ve just had this year’s version hit the shelves alongside the Red and Belgian IPA versions. About this beer: Resinous and pine-like hop characters dominate this American style IPA. Hopped using Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Columbus and US Cascade, and dry hopped with Citra and Amarillo, tangelo, lime and [...]
Mornington Mosaic IPA - this beer is so hot right now! Brewed using the fruity new American hop Mosaic, our IPA presents with a bright golden hue. Stone-fruit aromas of peach and apricot abound, and lead into a palate bursting with passionfruit and ably supported by pine and grassy notes. An IPA for all seasons. Lip-smacking! Available [...]
Got to stop by Black Hops Brewing at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast today. The brewery has been around for just 4 months, but is pumping out a range of quality brews. If you do find yourself on the GC, then check it out. The Flash Bang IPA is well worth trying! We’ll also have a copy [...]
Wolf of the Willows Homage IPA - cracking photo by @thebeerdrinkers Wolf of the Willows description about their beer: “India Pale Ale, or IPA, is the world’s most popular style of craft beer. To us thats not surprising considering its one of our favourite beers to drink. As this IPA pays respect to our love of American [...]
How yum is this beer? Stone Mocha IPA! A coffee IPA that blurs the line of what an IPA should be. Expect ground coffee notes up front, with the hops following. One to definitely try. Great photo by @the_brewtographer Available in store and online: http://buff.ly/2bLhEn8 #stonemochaipa #stonebrewing #ipa #mochaipa